Oshana launches another male circumcision drive

09 Jul 2015 19:30pm
OSHAKATI, 09 JUL (NAMPA) – The Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) drive has thus far attracted 6 027 men in the Oshana Region, compared to the target of 29 886 men in the region by 2017.
This was announced by Oshana regional VMMC coordinator, Aina Iita during the official launch of another scaled-up VMMC Adult Campaign at the regional council offices here on Thursday.
Iita noted that the figure of 6 027 men, who have undergone circumcision in the Oshana Region, represents the regional turnouts of willing men since the launch of the national VMMC programme in 2009.
She described it as a low turnout if the 29 886 target is to be realised by 2017. “Hence the launch of the scaled-up VMMC by our regional governor here today,” she said.
Iita said the main purpose of the VMMC programme is to reduce the HIV-infection risk, while also preventing other sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).
She explained that during the circumcision activity, absolute hygiene is guaranteed and it only takes up to three weeks for one to heal after undergoing circumcision at the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS)-administered site.
“Since the launch of the scaled-up VMMC programme in June last year, the Oshana Region has made great strides in reaching out to communities to provide circumcision services,” Oshana regional governor Clemens Kashuupulwa mentioned in his launch address.
He pointed out that more needs to be done as the scaled-up VMMC programme has circumcised only 3 155 men so far, compared to the programme’s target of 8 000 men by September this year.
“VMMC has been proven to reduce the acquisition of HIV in men by 60 per cent,” Kashuupulwa charged, adding that women of circumcised partners have a reduced risk of getting cancer of the cervix.
The governor also wants to see women encouraging their sons and partners to get circumcised.
The VMMC Adult Campaign launched on Thursday targets men of 15 years and above. It will commence on Monday and conclude on 24 July.
The two fixed sites are the Oshakati Intermediate Hospital and Ondangwa Health Centre, and circumcisions will be done on Mondays to Fridays by health officials.
The outreach sites are the Eluwa Clinic at Ongwediva, Epandulo Community Centre, Ondangwa Old Social Welfare building, Tonateni New Start Centre and Olulongo Centre of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELCIN).